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Transition Trouble | How Family Routines and Rituals Can Help

If your child experiences difficulty with transitions, changes or any activity requiring flexibility, you may be wondering what’s making it so hard.

Your child may be hypersensitive to changes in routines or unexpected events for a variety of reasons. Some possibilities include poor organization orplanning skills, sensory issues, developmental delays, inadequate coping mechanisms, maladjustment or an anxiety disorder. If your child also exhibits any of the following symptoms, it could be anxiety that is causing all the commotion:

Symptoms of Transition Caused Anxiety:

• Negative, rigid, perfectionistic or unrealistic thinking patterns

• Irritability, tantrums, anger or aggression

• Constant worry about what might happen

• Avoiding new or unfamiliar people, places or activities

• Excessive clinginess or withdrawal from activities and socialinteractions

• Interruption in sleeping or eating habits

• Psychosomatic complaints such as stomach aches, headaches and fatigue

All children and adults experience anxiety at a natural level, and it’s considered normal until it negatively impacts a child’s functioning at school, home or with friends. If your child is overly anxious for what is expected at their age, it is likely interfering with family life. Adding routine and structure into your home, wherever the opportunity lies, will surely help an anxious child be more successful across his environments. Read more

Why Are Transitions So Difficult For My Child?

What is it about change that is so problematic for some children (and for us)?

The stories are familiar:

  • The child who can’t make it down the hallway in school without causing a disruption.
  • The child who has seemingly had a good day at school and then whines incessantly before dinnertime.
  • The bedtime routine that takes forever and is not enjoyable for anyone.
  • The child who does fine in the classroom for major subjects but falls apart in the lunchroom or during specials.
  • The child who acts out whenever there is a substitute teacher or a new babysitter.
  • Those nightmarish car rides that we have all experienced.

 

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